DeMarcus Walker shows some of what he can do in Broncos win

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 26: DeMarcus Walker
TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 26: DeMarcus Walker /
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Denver Broncos rookie defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker finally got a chance to play his natural position, and surprise — he did well…

Denver Broncos rookie DeMarcus Walker has had a rough rookie season, to say the least.

With injuries to both Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray in the offseason, Walker was moved to the outside linebacker position, where he was like a fish out of water.

Not only was Walker having to make the switch to the speed of the NFL game, but he was having to do so while also switching to an unfamiliar position that didn’t suit his skills whatsoever.

In hindsight, the Broncos are probably sorry they even tried.

Walker — who actually blocked a couple of kicks in college — got himself into some hot water with the Broncos’ coaching staff as he struggled to find the field as a special teams player. He was struggling bad enough that the Broncos opted to make him a healthy scratch on gamedays until he could prove himself capable of contributing in the game’s third phase.

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In Sunday’s win over the Jets, Walker was back along the defensive line playing the three technique position, where he belongs.

The results, to the surprise of some, were positive.

Walker only played nine defensive snaps according to Pro Football Focus, but he made a tackle at the line of scrimmage against the run and also got a hit on Jets backup quarterback Bryce Petty, showing off his explosiveness off the snap.

Walker’s productivity in college was impossible to ignore in the pre-draft process, despite the fact that many felt he didn’t have a true position at the next level being that he isn’t a typical edge-bending pass rusher nor is he big enough (yet) to be a full-time starter on the interior.

If Walker can add some weight in the offseason, and become a full-time interior player while having the flexibility also to kick outside, the Broncos will have a gem on their hands similar to what they had in Malik Jackson, another ‘tweener’ coming out of Tennessee.

Walker is capable of collapsing the pocket and making plays behind the line of scrimmage, and this game was our clearest indicator yet of what he is capable of when put in the correct position.